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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  October 6, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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million voters by phone today. and among those pitching in is ann romney. today in orlando, she thanked campaign volunteers for their support, and placed two calls herself. >> dan, this is ann romney calling. >> excellent, excellent. >> how about that! >> i know. it's for real too. >> on the fundraising front, word today that the obama campaign and democratic allies raised $181 million in september. that is the most either side has raised in a month this election cycle. no word yet on the romney camp's monthly total, but the campaign does say it's collected more than $12 million in online donations since wednesday's debate. that's a lot. and it says it has seen bigger crowds on the trail since that debate. more on these stories throughout the next hour. and tonight a newly confident mitt romney guess back on the stump in the sunshine state. he is holding a rally at 6:30 p.m. in apopka, florida, where
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he has been hammering the president's job record, despite a rise in national employment. with the romney campaign, garrett, is the governor sticking to his guns on the economy, or do the new numbers change things? >> milissa, the only new change is governor romney is going to have to retire one of his favorite lines, is the unemployment rate remaining above%. we expect that line to disappear. but focus will stay the same, with perhaps a bit more of a target, talking about the deficit and spending. you see the slogan we can't afford four more years like the last four years. governor romney has been ham thaerg home in recent days. we expect him to do the same again tonight. >> how is the prep going for the next debate? any ideas as to a change in strategy there? >> well, milissa, i can tell you they've been essentially prepping for this second debate, which is a town hall format for more than a year. governor romney did dos of town halls, particularly in the early
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primary states like new hampshire where you have rambunctious comments from a variety of folks. that is something he was very comfortable with. in the last few days they've been doing telephone town halls with voters in places like ohio and iowa. this morning they started a more formal prep. rob portman of ohio who has run high marks for his portrayal of governor obama in governor romney's first prep debate sessions arrived late last night. this morning they did a full debate session prep session. we expect to see a lot more of that in the weeks leading up to the debate. this campaign after going through 19 debates in the primary season knows how important the face offs can be in changing the narrative. >> nbc campaign garrett hakke with the romney campaign in florida. thank you very much for that update. the latest poll shows an extremely tight race in the sunshine state. it is a statistical dead heat with president obama leading 47% to 46%. joining me now is scott arseno, executive director of the florida democratic party, and
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lenny curry, chairman of the state's republican party. thanks to both of you. len. >> thank you so much. >> lenny, let's start with you. republican supporters have suggested someone may have cooked the books. big conspiracy theories surrounding this whole thing when it comes to the drop in the unemployment numbers. does the republican party really expect the american people to believe that? >> let me start with a little irony. we were talking backstage. i'm a florida gator. scott is an lsu tiger, and both of our teams are playing right now. they kicked off at 3:30. not only are we here to disagree on politics. >> well, thank you very, very, very much for joining us today. >> but look, the unemployment rate dropped. it's important to note that if you look at where unemployment is dropping, it's the red states. red state governors are leading the charge. right here in florida, rick scott, over 150 jobs created. the blue states are not creating jobs. but the reality is on a national level, there are still over 20 million people that don't have a job. if the unemployment rate were at
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what president obama promised us, if we passed the stimulus, he said 5.3%. 8.5 more million people would be back to work. >> you know, that's one argument, but it didn't answer my question. do you believe what certain people are coming out and saying that these numbers have been manipulated? >> i accept the numbers as they are. the economic recovery and job creation is being led by red state republican governors. president obama did not focus on job creation. job creation is also tied to spending and deficits. he gave us $16 trillion in debt. so while we do see an improvement in job creation, it's not what it should be. the red state governors are leading it. and if president obama were following their lead, the national mood and economy would be much, much better right now. >> do you think that conspiracy theories such as being said across the country right now, do you that damages mitt romney? it's getting a lot of play nationwide. it really is. you can't take that away. do you think that's damaging?
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>> people are entitled to their opinion. this is a free country. it's free speech. i personally accept the numbers as they are. we need to be talking about the issues. the facts, there are still over 20 million people out of work. gas has doubled under this president. >> okay. scott, let's move on to you. florida's unemployment rate stands at 8.8%, one point higher than the national average that came out yesterday. florida also tops the list of states. and some type of foreclosure process, 11%. has president obama done enough to bring back florida's economy? >> well, what we're seeing here in florida is that people do feel better. they feel like we are in a recovery. things are on the move. we are moving forward. and that's really the great thing. what people are asking themselves is that four years ago in september of 2008, this country lost over 150,000 jobs. in september of 2012, we gained 114,000 jobs. that's the great news. and people feel that here in florida. and the paradox the republicans
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find themselves in is yes, in florida the unemployment rate is higher than the national average, frankly because of what has been going on in tallahassee with governor scott, and not what is going on nationally. nationally we are in a recovery. we are recovering here in florida. we are getting better. and i think that's what people feel out there. >> lenny, a recent "washington post" poll shows medicare tops the economy for senior voters in florida. romney's campaign says savings will come through competition among health insurance plans, not through imposing payment caps. economists are saying that's just not possible. won't romney have a tough time winning florida if he doesn't come up with some hard numbers about his medicare program with the huge amount of seniors voting there? >> our polling show us that seniors understand that mitt romney is not going. they understand that mitt romney is not going to touch medicare as it economists for people that are currently covered. and look, the reality is this all comes back to jobs. if we don't have people working and paying taxes, you can't fund the entitlement programs. if we f we reform them, you
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can't fund them if people aren't getting back to work. under governor rick scott, over 150,000 jobs created in the state of florida. >> let me address that. >> go ahead. >> i just want to address the medicare question, because it is critically important to florida. we have the largest number of medicare recipients in the country. the romney/ryan plan wants to change medicare as we know it. they want to create a voucher program. that's not what floridians want. and i think that is what we're seeing out there every day when we're out there talking to folks. they don't want what romney is trying to sell them on medicare. >> scott, quickly, one more question. how do you think president obama can court the moderate vote in florida? >> well, the president has been courting the moderate vote in florida for four years, frankly. he has been talking to folks about growing the middle class, about tax cuts for middle class, about really expanding small businesses. that's what folks here in florida want to talk about. how do we get our real estate business going again, how do we get construction back, how do we bring back manufacturing. the president has been talking
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about those core middle class values that folks in florida here really want to hear about. and i think he has done that. and i think we're actually seeing it right now. >> all right, scott arseno and lenny curry, thank you very much, especially given the fact that your teams are playing today. i can't thank you enough for coming out. i know what it's like when your ball game is playing. so thank you. >> pleasure. >> thank you. coming up, ben affleck confesses it's complicated. we'll tell you about his changing thoughts about president obama. but first the candidate who ran against mitt romney and lost. the woman who ran for governor of massachusetts joins us next to tell what's she learned about the man who wants to be president. ♪ stand in the place where you live ♪ [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. monarch of marketing analysis. with the ability to improve roi through seo all by cob.
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voters in massachusetts may be looking at the romney campaign with a serious sense of deja vu as the boston globe wrote this week, about six weeks before a crucial election. and shortly after he had secured the republican nomination, mitt romney was trailing badly. voters had unfavorable views of him. they didn't think he cared for people like them. women overwhelmingly favored his opponent. the year was 2002. of course, romney came back to win that election, defeating the democratic nominee for governor, shannon o'brien by five points. i am joined now by shannon o'brien, a former massachusetts state senator and former treasurer, rather, and former state senator. and thank you very much for coming on the show with us. >> thank you, milissa. >> let me start by reading you an analysis from right after this week's debate in "new york" magazine. quote, tonight's debate saw the
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return of mitt romney who ran for office in massachusetts in 1994 in 2002. he was obsessive about portraying himself as a moderate, using every possible opening or ambiguity, and when necessary, making them up to shove his way to the center. did this mitt romney look familiar to you? is this the return of the so-called massachusetts mitt romney? >> absolutely. i mean, this is the etch a sketch moment. mitt romney ran as a pro-choice, antitax. he was going to be a bipartisan governor. and the fact is he was opposed to women's reproductive rights. he raised fees by nearly a billion dollars. so it's say anything to get elected. but also pretend that you're a moderate. he actually took great pleasure in telling people when he had run for office before, he did not support ronald reagan. but the moment he got into office, he really began switching very quickly to the right. and now you have -- i don't know what you have today, because now it seems like he is coming back
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to the center. >> i want to play a romney ad that ran shortly before the election in 2002. let's take a listen to that. >> i want to sell the tremendous benefits of our commonwealth to america's finest companies and bring great jobs here. i want folks in other states to look at us and think i wish i lived in massachusetts. >> he is talking to construction workers. he is handing out hot dogs. in an effort to connect with voters clearly. >> a little baloney too. >> well, hey, it apparently worked though. >> it did. >> should the obama campaign be careful not to assume that voters will write romney off as this out-of-touch rich guy? >> he is very, very practiced. this is what i have said for the past couple of weeks. he gets into the debate prep room. he practices and practices. and the answer come across sounding extremely sincere. and the fact is i think that he is perhaps one of the betterer debaters in the republican party today. but when it comes to the facts,
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when it comes to what he will ultimately do when he governs, come to massachusetts and ask us. he raised fees by a billion dollars. he raised fees on hunters. there is this baby thing going on right now. we've heard him going after big bird. in massachusetts, he made it more expensive to be a baby. he increased the cost of berth certificates. so people need to understand, you can say anything when you're running, and he does, and he will. but how did he govern? in massachusetts he has less than a 30% favorability rating. and president obama is winning by over 20 people. the people in massachusetts have seen how he will govern, are not happy with their former govern. >> interesting. you went after romney in a debate over when exactly he left his position at bain capital, which has been an enormous part of this election. take a listen. >> the fact is you were still signing documents as ceo of the company while you were away. and as a matter of fact, in the summer of 2001, when you were leaving the olympics, you actually made a statement in the
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paper that in the summer of 2001, you were finally relinquishing 100% control of your position within bain. >> i was out in utah, full-time. i had no responsibility for management at bain capital. i was not running bain capital, and therefore am not responsible for acts of bain capital when i left. >> would the president be wise to bring up bain in the next debate, something he did not do in the first? >> i think the most important thing that he can bring up is the comments about 47%. i think that mitt romney, while he has disavowed them, the fact is the policies he has been talking about during the course of this campaign, which are already changing, and we can't really figure out is he for tax cuts, is he against tax cuts, what is he really going to do, i think he needs to take each statement one by one. i think that bain is just one piece of him not telling the truth about what his involvement was, not telling the truth what he has done in the past, and certainly not even now telling the truth what he would do as president. i think that obama just needs to take those issues looking
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forward rather than looking backward. i think that would be a little bit smarter. >> well, and on to a different issue. let me play you an exchange over the issue of abortion. when you said he accepted the endorsement of mass citizens for life. >> your spokesperson stated you accepted their endorsement. >> shannon, i can tell you again, i did not in any way acknowledge their endorsement nor do i. >> do you accept it? >> i can tell you i do not take the position of a pro-life candidate. i am in favor of preserving and protecting a woman's right to choose. and your effort to continue to try and create fear and deception here is unbecoming. >> unbecoming. that was an interesting word to use. what did you make of that? >> well, it really didn't bother me so much. but a lot of women in massachusetts got very upset at that. but it reminds me what happened in the debate just the other night. he actually said with a straight
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face that his health plan will cover resisting conditions. and then his press person, eric fehrnstrom the next day said, no that's not true. the fact is he says what he needs to stay in the debate to score the point and he is quite articulate when he says it. and it sounds real. >> it kind of reminds me what todd akin recently said to claire mccaskill, saying that she wasn't acting like a lady. >> well, i think we have seen this with a number of republican candidates. and we're seeing it happen in massachusetts with elizabeth warren. they're trying to make her look elite and out of touch and mean. and frankly, in my last debate, the biggest mistake that i made is that i probably was too aggressive and did come across not as nice as i could be. and they ran with that and they pushed it a lot. i think you see a model for running against a woman candidate is to try to make them look mean or aggressive or unlady like. it actually works. it's a tactic that can work. >> all right. here is a headline from "the new york times" today.
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romney claims a bipartisanship as governor face challenge. here is the quote. bipartisanship was in short supply. state house democrats complained he variously ignored, insulted, or opposed them with intermittent charm offenses. he vetoed scores of legislative initiatives and excised budget line items in a remarkable 844 times. in your view, in the debate last week, he was saying how bipartisan he was in massachusetts, and was very, very proud of that. how do democrats actually feel about working with mitt romney? >> he absolutely was not bipartisan in reaching out to individual legislators. his predecessor, republican bill weld actually did a pretty good job reach across the aisle. but the fact is the only initiatives that mitt romney was able to work on in a bipartisan fashion, one, romney care. he did get that passed. two, there were budget deficits initiatives that were enacted that included nearly a billion dollars in fees.
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so it was bipartisan when it came to passing romney care, which he now disavows. he was bipartisan when it comes to raising fees by a billion dollars, which again, he would say he didn't do. so in terms of him being bipartisan, that didn't happen. as a matter of fact, i've heard some anecdotes that i was reminded of in the last couple of weeks. he would have a meeting with the mayors. the mayors were pretty upset that he wasn't talking to them when they were cutting local aid. he used to bring state police bodyguards into the meeting with him. he closed down an elevator that used to be public, to the legislators, the general public could get in. he closed down that elevator so only he could go up. he didn't want to get button holed by any legislators. i think if you talk to any democratic, and frankly even some republican legislators, he did not work in either a bipartisan or in a partisan way to work with the legislature to have really a very strong record of accomplishment. he really has a very weak record of accomplishment in
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massachusetts. >> shannon o'brien, thank you so much. you ran for governor of massachusetts against mitt romney in 2002. thank you very much for your time today. >> thank you. >> arnold schwarzenegger make answer appearance in a spot that may be familiar to fans of the former governor's condominium my career. and is about to play an important battleground. what he has planned after this preak. you are watching msnbc. ♪ let's get it started, ha, let's get it started in here ♪ l] no matter what city you're playing tomorrow. [ coughs ] ♪ you can't let a cold keep you up tonight. [ snores ] vicks nyquil. powerful nighttime 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪ if you can't take a sick day, here's a cold hard fact. alka-seltzer plus cold & cough may cause marked drowsiness. try dayquil cold and flu for non-drowsy relief of these symptoms. so you can save the day, not worry about falling asleep.
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fans will find the scene familiar. it's where he shot part of his 1996 christmas film "jingle all the way." ben affleck admit his feelings for president obama are not as certain as they were burn. in an interview, the boston-born actor and aacademy award-winning screenwriter said i voted for obama last time, although he got to be all things to all people then. now he has a record which makes it really different. i obviously have more complicated feelings. speaking of beantown complication, duval patrick says scott brown's attacks on elizabeth warren make him a, quote, bay state birther. brown's been trailing in the polls while attacking warren over her claims of being native american in heritage. political and snack junkies will love this one. portraits of president obama and mitt romney made entirely of chee-tos. mmm! artist jason ballmann using 2,000 of the snacks to create a
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one-of-a-kind images. fans who vote on each will get a chance to win the portraits, in case you just want to have that in your house, i guess. and of the black eyed peas getting things started in denver telling students at three different stops on thursday to sign up and vote. mitt romney makes a big change when it comes to those infamous 47% remarks. how it will play with voters. and they're not blithely floating through this election season, but they've got major committees for your candidates. they're undecided voters, and they've got a lot on their minds this month. we will hear from some undecideds up next. you are watching msnbc, the mace for politics. era laundry detergent once stomped a stain with such power, [ rumbling, people screaming ] the results could be felt around the world.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here is a look at some of the top stories making news now. sketches are just into msnbc of radical preach abu al masri. best known of the five terror suspects just extradited from great britain. he is accused of setting up a terrorist training camp in oregon and kidnapping two american tourists in yemen in 1998. al masri did not enter a plea. the cdc says the death toll in a rare fungal meningitis outbreak linked to steroid injects has risen to seven. more than 60 people have been infected by contaminated steroids which are used for back pain. officials in afghanistan say two americans were killed in the eastern part of that country today. while their names have not been released, the military said they decide in an insurgent attack. drivers in california are waking up to record high gas prices. aaa says the average price for a gallon of unleaded is up another
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12 cents to $4.61 a gallon that is the highest in the country. a vatican tribunal convicted the pope's former butler and sentenced him to 18 months in jail. he was found guilty of stealing pope benedict's private papers and leaking them to a reporter. and some of the jurors who convicted jerry sandusky said they plan to attend his sentencing on tuesday. and they tell the associated press they hope he'll be sent away for the rest of his life. the 68-year-old sandusky was convicted of child sexual abuse. for both presidential candidates, they are the most sought after votes. those would be the ballots of the undecided. a large group of that up in the air voting block sat down in colorado to watch the debate a few miles from the university of denver where it took place. nbc's ron allen sat down with them, and got their reaction in this report. >> reporter: who do you think won? when wednesday night's debate was over, a registered independent who voted for
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president obama in 2008, a coveted vote this election season may have said it best. >> but i felt like governor romney sort of stepped up his game in terms of bringing something new to this campaign. >> reporter: he we had a diverse group, a few new to politics, some swing voters. age range 57 to 17. and all relieved to hear directly from the two candidates, instead of all the negative ads bombarding this state. how many you have saw something in governor romney that you hadn't seen before? >> malt ultimately i think he was very compassionate, and he seemed like his policies were actually sensible. >> and if you noticed, he used step there is a four-step plan. one, two, three, four. and it's very clear in talking to us. >> reporter: despite all of, that for some, president obama still won the night because he came across as the person they could relate to. >> i just fell i want a president that i can connect with. he looked into the camera and addressed us. and mitt romney didn't do that. >> i like how obama talked about the middle class.
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i personally don't know any millionaires. and there is a lot more of us, the middle class. >> reporter: the two latino women there said they were leaning toward the president, the exact group of voters he hopes will help him win this state. on the other hand, some supporters may be slipping away. >> made a lot of promises four years ago. and we've had four years to watch a lot of that not happen. >> you voted for obama last time? >> yes. i'm a lot more suspicious and guarded. >> the question i have is four years really enough to follow through on these promises. can all of president obama's promises he made four years ago really be done in four years? >> what do you think? is four years enough? >> i don't think so. >> reporter: and they all wish they'd had a fact checker standing by to sort through the flurry of claims and counter claims. is romney really not seeking a $5 trillion tax cut? will people be able to keep their health insurance under the president's plan? >> i always kind of approach it from they're both lying to me.
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so now i have to figure out which one is lying to me less and basing my decision on that. >> reporter: so i guess the question that i have that maybe you can't answer is why can't you make up your minds? >> they all said the rest of the debates are even more crucial. after watching round one, perhaps significantly change the entire race. ron allen, nbc news, denver. >> aides to mitt romney say he will spend part of today preparing for the next presidential debate, which is scheduled for october 16th. the president's team says he hasn't held any formal debate practice sessions since wednesday, and is spending today celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary. with me now is our brain trust panel, perry bacon jr. is an msnbc contributor and political editor at jennifer rubin writes the right turn for the "washington post." and tara mcguinness is at the center for american progress. welcome to you all and thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> perry, who are the undecided
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voters in your view? and is it unfair to lump them all into one group? >> it's a little unfair to lump them into one group if that they all have different characteristics. they tend to be people who don't follow politics overly closely. they probably for instance are not watching us talk right now about the race. they tend to be a little less informed. they tend fob women overwhelmingly, is what most of the polling shows. and a lot of them are people who voted for president last time, but are not really surer this time what they will do. and we should also say a lot of them are people who end up not voting as well. >> jennifer, i want to focus on the one voter in that package who said both men were lying and he was trying to determine who was lying less. i guess this is what undecided voters have to deal with. when you're in october, it's silly season. and every new day brings some new scandal. the obama campaign is making an effort to portray romney as having been dishonest in that
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debate? can that argument be effective when you're trying to reach some of these undecided voters who at this late hour are still in fact undecided. >> i think it's a mistake for the president. it sounds like sour grapes that he wasn't able to stand up to romney who was lying. that's a kind negativity. the president needs to tell what's he wants to do. one of the things was his own agenda was so thin, that he wasn't able to convey to the public that he had an offensive, a effective second term agenda. i think the second thing he has to do is he really has to bear down and answer some more detailed questions about his own agenda, about his own debt reduction plan, which as andrea mitchell pointed out that evening, really has a lot of holes in it. so i think he would be best to not complain about, not lambaste his opponent, but really kind of hit the books, get down to work, portray a more positive agenda the next time around.
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and for goodness sakes, look at the camera, don't look down. >> you specialize in communication. i want to ask you about myth now trying to disavow his remarks about the 47%. anybody who has heard that cannot deny that's exactly what he said. listen to what he told sean hannity on thursday night. >> clearly in a campaign with hundreds, if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right. in this case, that says something that is just completely wrong. and i absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that i care about 100%. >> what do you make of his strategy in dealing with these comments? these comments have been so damaging. do you think that he could really put them behind him? >> i think he could put them behind him if it wasn't what he actually believed. i mean the comments that he made in florida are really a fundamental conservative idea, which is that most people, many
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people aren't the core of the engine of the economic growth of this country. veterans, middle class people, they kind of weigh us down. and in fact, he would have a harder time -- he is having a hard time turning it around, because it's at the core of what his policy. his policies overwhelmingly give major tax breaks to wealthy people. he is not really looking out for everybody else. so i think part of the difficulty in making the turn is that they resonate, these arguments resonate because they're really what he believes. >> all right, guys. all three of you stick around, please. coming up next, the next time president obama and governor romney meet. that will face in a very difficult format. we'll have a look at a debate style and how it might affect both candidates' messages. but first, why green jobs have both campaigns red in the face.
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as mitt romney's team tries to ride the wave of momentum, hoping as a way to turn the page and maybe get a political bounce of their own. let's bring back our panel, perry bacon jr. and tara mcguinness. you wrote about the jobs numbers. let's take a look at that. consider that if labor force participation had held even since january even it was 8.3%, the jobless rate would be 8.4 if the job participation rate were the same as when president barack obama took office, the rate would be 10.7%. obama can spin the numbers any way he likes, but this is not an economic recovery in a meaningful sense. but do you think that the average person digs into numbers
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like this, or do you think they just see 7.8% sand say well, that's good. >> i think they look at their own lives and the lives of people around them. and i think you pointed out in the first portion of the show, a lot of the swing states, a lot of the battleground states have very high unemployment rates. so someone sitting in nevada, for example, where they have double-digit unemployment is not going to be so impressed by a bunch of figures. i think what needs to be done on both sides is for them to explain how it is they plan on bringing that number down. for the person who sun employed, or for the person who is -- and this is a larger subset of people who has to have taken part-time work because they can't get full-time work, i think they want to hear how things are going to get better. i think this goes back to the point that i made. rather than simply saying the other guy is lying, the president has to come forward with something that is meaningful. i don't think hiring 100,000 teachers sounds all that impressive. i don't think it sounds impressive to say we're going to send two million people to
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community college. where is the meat? where is the beef on his economic plan for this second term? and i think that's a real problem for him, and it will be in the second and third debates. >> perry, you wrote a piece that directly contradicts what jennifer just wrote. you said the numbers show unmistakable economic improvement? does that mean you don't see any red flags at all? >> oh, no, i absolutely see red flags. 7.8% is still pretty high unemployment. the president would say that himself. the president's team is not happy the job growth is not higher than it is. this said, we are in a period now where we've gotten to the point where unemployment is back to where it was when the administration started. the recovery -- i disagree with jennifer a bit. it's not a great recovery. it certainly is an a economic recovery. job growth is happening, and things are certainly better than they were a year ago when unemployment was about 9%. so things are getting better is they're not great i think is what i would say. and i think most democrats would say that as well. >> i think that's exactly what president obama has been saying. tara, let me ask you about the
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conspiracy theories that are being circulated from some republicans, not all, but some. so here is a tweet from lindsey graham's political twitter feed. about 5:00 yesterday. and this is a quote. not that i'm skeptical about today's unemployment report, but i bet they would figure out a way to hit 6.0 if we extended the election by 30 days. he doesn't sound very skeptical just there. just the fact that these questions are being raised, does that -- does that hurt the president? or on the flip side, could it hurt mitt romney that some people in his party are making these claims that so many people think are outlandish? >> listen, i think mitt romney is in a difficult position. he has staked his campaign on the idea that things are getting worse and worse. and the numbers have been showing us that things are improving. we've got a long way to go. but they're certainly getting better. so i think these sorts of tweets and kind of crazy attacks are kind of what happens when the arguments have staked you into a place where you either have to
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root against very positive information about the economy, or come up with some new thing. and that's exactly what the tweets are doing. >> let's switch gears. perry, i want to talk to you about green jobs. mitt romney brought it up during the debate. and then again last night. here is what he said. let's listen to that. >> i got a chance to ask him why it was with the deficit so severe and such a threat to our future that the president would $90 billion on so-called green energy jobs. anybody here have one of those? i keep looking. >> the president -- >> i guess -- >> the president didn't have an answer for that. the president didn't have an answer for romney on that on wednesday. he hasn't talked about green jobs since. is that a mistake? >> i think it was a a mistake during the debate not to defend his agenda on the issue more carefully and more strongly. romney had this line in the debate you don't just pick the winners, you pick the losers too. and the president kind of
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brushed it aside and didn't address it. i would like to have heard the president debate that issue more carefully. that said, the president is not running on green jobs being the center of his economic agenda. you heard a lot of that on wednesday night about what he is for in terms of reducing the deficit, in terms of hiring teachers. and i think jennifer is right. in the next two debates i think the president should and will talk more broadly about what he would do to create jobs in the country. that will involve green jobs. the green jobs are more forward looking, probably a ten years from now agenda. and the president will talk more about hiring state workers, hiring teachers for his agenda right now. >> jennifer, a couple of things about this green job initiative. the government gave money to the nuclear industry when it started up in the '50s. you know, mitt romney during the debate criticized president obama when president obama criticized how much money is given to the oil industry. many people were upset that the president then fired back and said hey, listen, we're starting something with green energy. if you're trying to get a whole
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new energy sector off the ground, don't you need federal dollars behind it at least at first? >> there are a lot more official ways of doing it than giving money to your friends and having those companies go bankrupt. the reason why it's such a sore point with the administration is they've had a lot of very high profile disasters, solyndra, fisker, and the rest. i think the president, rather than saying yes, we have to subsidize my friends, would do better to say that i think his line is that he is in favor of an all of the above sort of energy policy. but it's really not the case that we're doing better. we had a higher growth rate in 2010. the reason why that rate is going down is because people are giving up and dropping out of the jobs -- the job market. so i think that the essential argument from the romney campaign is dead-on. and we're not better. we're still down net jobs. we still have more unemployed people on a per capita basis on a specific basis than we did
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when he first took office. i think a lot of these arguments are very valid. we're not going to do it by giving money to the solyndras of is the world. >> i just want to point out there are conflicting numbers and views regarding what you just said about the numbers about people who are just not looking for jobs anymore. >> no, they're not. that's a point as well there is 23 million people who have not been employed or who are now taking the looking at part-time employment. >> tara, let's -- >> i want to -- i do want to dive in to the numbers. and i would love to come back to the story about the clean energy and green jobs, because it's one of the bright spots in our economy. but what is not true that that the unemployment rate decreased because people aren't looking for jobs. actually, in this past month, over 400,000 new people joined the labor market. so this particular decrease in unemployment. but that's directly -- >> let's get the facts straight here. as you said before, it's unfair to the folks at home who don't want to hear competing lies. that is absolutely true that we have an increase in the labor market. >> in one month. not since he took office. not since he took office.
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[ overlapping dialog ] >> unemployment insurance. >> let perry weigh in on this before we go. >> yes. tara is right. this month particularly, the unemployment went down because people are working more. more people found jobs. the labor situation rate actually is lower than it should be. the administration can see that as well. this month job growth was real there have been some months in the past where unemployment went down because the workforce went down because people gave up looking for jobs. but not this month in particular, which is a good sign for the job market. >> perry, the job participation rate lower than it was when president obama took office? yes. >> guys, love you, but we've got to go. i appreciate that. we'll see you all soon. >> all right. coming up, mitt romney is about to make a major foreign policy speech. is this the time to take the focus off the economy? we'll look at that issue with our brain trust. yes, they're back, and they're fired up. they're coming back next. [ female announcer ] caroline penry began using olay total effects in 2001.
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with the first debate in the books, the two campaigns are preparing for the next big moment. for mitt romney, it is going to be a major foreign policy speech scheduled for monday morning at the virginia military institute. back with us are perry bacon jr., jennifer rubin and tara mcginnis making up our brain trust panel today. do you agree with the romney's decision to shift the focus to foreign policy, particularly thou when it seems like all the attention is on the economy? >> this is actually a delayed speech. they had meant to give it a while back. i think it's going to be a different kind of foreign policy speech. i think they're going to tie it to some of the themes they raised in that debate, including competency, including being proactive. so i think it will have a mixed message that is both domestic and foreign policy. >> tara, do you anticipate -- better yet, do you fear mitt romney saying something in this speech that could be a game-changer in the race? >> no.
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i think, frankly, it will be interesting to hear mitt romney say something about what he will do differently from president obama on foreign policy. he's had a lot of high rhetoric. but if you ask him details about afghanistan, the middle east, you know, he neglected to talk about a lot of this in his convention speech. it will be interesting to put a little meat on the bones, as jennifer raised earlier on what mitt romney's policies would be. >> perry, the next presidential debate is going to be a town hall format. how will that change the dynamic? >> it's very hard to attack your opponent when there is an audience there of people who are asking questions. and the audience is not looking forward. they're looking for answer, not partisanship. i think each man has to kind of dial down their attacking and dial up their empathy. occasionally both candidates don't show empathy in a great way. i think it's a challenge for both of them to really hear their questions and reach out to people and a explain to people who might have something trouble with their job, what have you, how they would genuinely fix it
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if they were president. >> one very quick answer from all of you. these next debates are going to be focused on foreign policy. president obama at a significant advantage? >> yes. the president made a couple of core promises in 2008 that he is going to end the war in iraq, that he was going to focus resources on tracking down osama bin laden, and that he was going to change the way that we did foreign policy compared to president bush. and i think he has really delivered on all three things. that's going to be a conversation that i'm sure he is looking forward to having with the american people. >> perry? >> i'm sorry, go ahead. >> i would say yes. in some ways the president of the united states who is in office, particularly this one because of bin laden. >> all right. one more. >> i think he is going to have a big problem. he has a libya scandal that is brewing. iran has not stopped its nuclear weapons program. he has a problem with israel. i think he is going to be vulnerable. >> thanks, everybody. got to go. perry bacon jr., jennifer rubin, tara mcguinness. thank you. craig melvin will be back tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. eastern
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time when he has gray davis live as a guest on the show. and be sure to catch "meet the press" tomorrow morning on nbc where arnold schwarzenegger will be among david gregory's guests. and the replay tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. eastern time here on msnbc. until then have, yourself a great day. does your phone give you all day battery life ? droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ? droid does. with verizon, america's largest 4g lte network, and motorola, droid does. get $100 off select motorola 4g lte smartphones like the droid razr. >> announcer: meet jill. she thought she'd feel better after seeing her doctor. and she might have, if not for kari, the identity thief who stole jill's social security number to open credit cards, destroying jill's credit and her dream of retirement.
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